I am a social and cultural historian of Britain in the long 18th century with a focus on gender, sex, crime, deviance, medicine, and the body in Wales and England. I joined the University of Leicester in 2018 after completing my PhD at the University of Exeter followed by a one-year lectureship and fellowship (IHR/EHS Power Postdoctoral Fellowship) at Cardiff University. My doctoral research was funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Born and raised in Canada I completed my BA (hons) in History at Simon Fraser University. In 2010 I ‘temporarily’ moved to Wales to pursue my MA at Swansea University, after which I decided to pursue an academic career in the UK. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Higher Education Academy, co-editor of the series Explorations in Regional and Local History and journal Histories of People and Place, and the current Director of the Centre for Regional and Local History.
I came relatively late to academia after pursuing a successful career in arts events management and an unsuccessful career in acting. In addition to academia, I am a passable indie musician, and keeper of an ever-varying number rescue cats.
My doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the experience and broader social, cultural, and medical context of illegitimacy and childbirth outside of wedlock in 18th-century Wales, including infant and maternal mortality and the provision of care to unmarried mothers. I have published on topics such as illegitimacy, midwifery, and mortality in Wales. More recently I have researched and published on sex work in 18th-century Wales, and interpersonal violence in England and Wales c. 1600-1900.
My book Deviant Maternity: Illegitimacy in Wales c. 1680-1800 was awarded the 2020 Francis Jones Prize for Welsh History and runner up ('highly recommended') in the Women's History Network book prize.
My current research focuses on reading depositional evidence from the Court of Great Sessions (the highest criminal court in Wales prior to 1830) 'against the grain'. Although excellent sources of evidence of crime, the detailed nature of these records makes them an ideal source of evidence about the lives and experiences of ‘ordinary’ men and women in Wales in the past. In 2021 I was awarded a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant for a project that examines diversity identity and social change in south Wales between 1730 and 1830 using evidence from the Great Sessions.
Deviant Maternity: Illegitimacy in Wales c. 1680-1800 (Routledge, 2020) (Awarded 2021 Francis Jones Prize in Welsh History)
'Romantic pursuits? Rethinking courtship in Georgian Wales', Family & Community History, 26:2 (2023)
(with S. Inskip) 'Material encounters: the alternative uses of clay tobacco pipes in England and Wales, c. 1600-1900', Historical Research, 96 (2023)
‘Midwifery and Maternity Care for Single Mothers in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Social History of Medicine, 33 (2020), pp. 394-416
‘Courtship, Sex and Poverty: Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Social History, 43 (2018), 56-80
‘Death and the Parish: Mortality in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Postgraduate Journal of Medical Humanities, 4 (2017), 101-133
‘Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Welsh History Review, 26 (2013), 351-388
'Welsh Society in the Eighteenth Century' in M. Johnes, L. Miskell and R. Thomas (eds), Routledge Handbook of Welsh History (Routledge, forthcoming)
'Sex Work and Economies of Makeshift in Wales, c. 1750-1830' in B. Jenkins, P. O'Leary and S. Ward (eds), Gender in Modern Welsh History (University of Wales Press, 2023)
'Illegitimacy, family and stigma in England, 1660-1834 by Kate Gibson', Local Population Studies, 110 (2023) (forthcoming)
'Giving birth in eighteenth-century England by Sarah Fox', Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies (2023)
I am happy to discuss research proposals on any subject related to my areas of research expertise and interests. I am especially happy to consider topics in the following areas:
- Gender and sexuality in early modern, 18th and 19th century Britain
- Crime and deviance
- Medicine midwifery and the body
- Diversity and identity
- Women’s history
- LGBTQ+ histories
- Family and community histories (including those that fall under the ‘traditional’ banner of local history and those often left on the margins, such as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, Queer, and Disabled communities and local histories in Britain).
I teach a broad range of topics related to the social and cultural history and historiography of Britain across BA and MA programmes.
- HS3808: Gender Crime and Deviance in 18th Century England and Wales
- HS2500: Becoming the Historical Researcher
- HS2400/01: Perceiving the Past
- HS2360: History in the Classroom
HS1100: People and Places
- HS1013: Great Britain: The State We’re In
- HS1002: The Shock of the Modern
- HS1000: Making History
- HS7136: Families and Communities and England and Wales c. 1600-1900
- HS7101: Historical Research Historical Writing
I have previously been nominated for ‘Best Lecturer’ and ‘Most Inclusive Practice’ awards by Leicester SU.
Press and media
I will consider media queries directly related to my research expertise.
I welcome opportunities to talk to specialist and non-specialist audiences about any area of my research and I am happy to give talks to local history groups libraries museums schools and other community groups. Recently I have given talks at the National Library of Wales and the London Branch of the Welsh Family History Societies.
I tweet at @DrAngelaMuir.
- ‘Voices from the margins: Locating women in the Welsh Court of Great Sessions’, Economic History Society Conference, University of Warwick.
- ‘Mapping place and identity in early modern and industrialising Wales’ Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland autumn conference, University of Leicester
- ‘Authority, Agency and Abortion in Early Modern Wales’, Premodern Fertility: Global Perspectives workshop, University of Exeter
- ‘Material Encounters: Alternative Uses of Tobacco Pipes in England and Wales, c. 1600-1900’ Intersectional Bodies Symposium, University of Leicester
- ‘Sex Work, Economies of Makeshifts and Sexual Violence in Wales, c. 1750-1830’, Richard Burton Centre Seminar, Swansea University
- ‘‘She wanted money from him for having connection with her that she might get meat into the house’: Sex work, stigma and sexual violence in eighteenth-century Wales’, British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Conference, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford
- ‘Romantic Pursuits? Courtship and coercion in eighteenth-century Wales’ Local Population Studies Society Paths to Marriage Conference, University of Oxford
- ‘Prostitution, the Community and the Economy of Makeshift in Wales, c. 1750- c. 1830’ Gender in Modern Welsh History Symposium, Cardiff University
- ‘Unmarried Paupers, Childbirth and the Parish in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Centre for Medical History seminar, University of Exeter
- 'Not just poor, thwarted lovers: reassessing the relationships and identities of single parents in Wales, c. 1700-1800, English Local History Seminar, University of Leicester
- ‘Single, Pregnant and Murdered: Narratives of Intimate Partner Homicide in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, European Social Science History Conference, Queen’s University Belfast
- ‘Courtship, Sex and Poverty: Illegitimacy in Eighteenth-Century Wales’ Early Modern History seminar, Cardiff University
- ‘Midwives and Matrons: Childbirth in Early Modern Wales’, Medical Practice in Early Modern Britain in Comparative Perspective, University of Exeter
- ''She did not dye a natural death but by some act of violence': Fatal Violence Against Unmarried Pregnant Women, 1750-1800’, Social History Society Conference, UCL Institute of Education
- Fatal Violence Against Unmarried Pregnant Women in Eighteenth-Century Wales', Women's History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research
- ‘Infant Mortality and Non-Marital Childbirth in Eighteenth-Century Wales’, Historical Perspectives on Risks of Childbirth Workshop, Open University, London
- Did Baby Daddies Matter? Illegitimacy, Identifiable Paternity and Infant Mortality in Eighteenth Century Wales’, European Social Science History Conference, Valencia, Spain
PhD History, University of Exeter
- Thesis: ‘Deviant Maternity: The Context and Consequence of Single Motherhood in Wales in the Long Eighteenth Century’
- Funded by the Wellcome Trust and Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada
MA Early Modern History, Swansea University
- Dissertation: 'Illegitimacy in Eighteenth Century Wales: Paternity, Courtship, Marriage and Illicit Sex’
- Awarded 2012 Blodwen Jerman Prize, Cambrian Archaeological Association (for MA dissertation) and 2011 Hugh Thomas Memorial Prize in the History of Wales, Swansea University
BA History (minor in Humanities), Simon Fraser University, First-class honours
- SFU Open Scholarship, Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship, and British Council Canada Undergraduate Essay Contest in British Studies (not bad considering I barely graduated high school!).